Choosing Antivirus SoftwareYou may be wondering what the most important things are when purchasing an antivirus software program. Most people do not know exactly what to look for, which is why many people end up being victims of viruses and other problems.

How can you protect yourself from the growing variety of threats that are targeting our computers on a daily basis? What should you know before you buy a program? This buying guide for antivirus software will answer these questions and several others, so you can start finding the best one for you and your computer.

1. Price

It goes without saying – price is one the top things to consider when purchasing antivirus software. You will come across all kinds of versions and features priced across a broad scale. Some software is free, while others cost hundreds of dollars. You want to go with something reasonable; it is not necessary to buy the most expensive program to keep your computer secure.

2. Email Scanning

A key feature of some of the best antivirus software is email scanning. This is something that can save your computer from having its hard drive erased or personal data revealed to prying eyes. A high percentage of computer attacks and issues come from spam email, whether it be links or embedded attachments that cause the problem. Antivirus email scans can alert you when one of these threats has been found before you open or click anywhere in the message.

3. Download Protection

Another feature that makes this list of the most important things to consider is download protection. Files can contain all types of dangerous elements, so you may want to choose an antivirus software program that offers file download scanning.

4. Spyware/Malware Scans

The best antivirus tools not only look for and protect against viruses, but they also keep an eye out for spyware and malware. These are the evil sidekicks to viruses that cause harm and compromise your personal information. Simply browsing the internet can lead to such files and programs to end up on your computer, wreaking havoc in the background. A scanner for these will come in handy and protect you from otherwise hidden threats.

5. Speed

Pay attention to how fast you can scan your computer. Any program that offers “quick scan” or “speedy scan” may be a good option for you, if you want to be able to run a check at a moment’s notice. This is convenient for anyone who does not spend a tremendous amount of time on their computer. While they may not be as thorough as a full scan, quick scans can give you some peace of mind.

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6. Compatibility

One of the most important things to consider when purchasing an antivirus software is the compatibility with your computer. While for some people this may seem like a common sense factor, it can be easily overlooked if you are not used to buying computer software. Windows users often have to pay special attention to the exact operating system, as there are many versions of antivirus programs out there. Mac users can sometimes get away with being slightly incompatible, but it is still crucial to look for the right version that will work on your system. Otherwise, you risk wasting money on something that cannot properly scan and protect your computer.

7. Privacy Policy

Believe it or not, some of the biggest manufacturers of antivirus and computer security programs are also the biggest sharers of personal information. You have to be careful about whom you are willing to give your data to. Read the privacy policies of the companies you are considering purchasing from. Do not be afraid to contact the company directly or even ask a lawyer if you have any questions about how your data is shared or sold.

8. Free Trial

You may want to consider buying an antivirus program that offers a free trial, so you can get a good idea first of how it works and if it is right for you. Sometimes the features are not fully accessible in a free trial, which would not be ideal. Look for one that offers you a full glance of what is available – that transparency often means the paid version is worth the price.

9. Real-Time Information

It can be very handy to have real time scanning and information available on-hand when you want it. Some programs run in the background and give you the option to pause them or turn on and off at scheduled times. This is extremely convenient for people who browse online, check email, or download files on a regular basis, since it saves you the time of booting up the software every day, hour, etc…

10. Payment Terms

Last but not least, it is important to consider when purchasing antivirus software the payment terms that are available. Some programs are priced at a one-time fee, while others are only accessible by monthly or yearly subscriptions. You have to consider which terms are best for you.

Read more: Best Antivirus Software List